New Humanity Movement

Ethnicities and Cultures

BeyrouthDaisy and Samir Najm are Lebanese and have three children. They were living in the USA, with good job prospects, when war broke in their country. They went back home to be of help to the whole community in the dialogue between the different ethnic groups and even with those who fought against their motherland. In doing so they discovered the meaning of their life and their commitment within their cities.

by Daisy and Samir Najm (Lebanon)

It was the year 1989. For many years, Lebanon has been going through the dramatic experience of a civil war that started way back in 1975, and in which Christians and Palestinians fought each other. This war is the direct result of the unstable situation that was rampant in that region. However, in the eighties, there were other conflicts going on in the Middle East.

Samir recalls: “The long-drawn conflict produced lots of deaths and destruction, with the consequence that there were no jobs, and the schools and other services were closed down”.

He and his wife Daisy are Lebanese, and with their three children, they embrace the Ideal of Universal Brotherhood that, as they candidly admit, gave meaning to their life.

Samir continues his narration: “My brother suggested that we should all migrate to the USA where he was living. There I could find a job at some university. As a university professor I could take a sabbatical year; thus, we accepted. In the USA we had the wonderful experience of seeing living together persons with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds”.

Daisy adds: “It was a very intense year, full of trials, which have helped us, as a family, to become close to one another. Many a time we asked ourselves what could be the right decision: returning to Lebanon or staying in a country full of opportunities.

Both Samir and myself had a good job, and we could apply for American citizenship. Moreover, our children’s future looked bright there. We didn’t know what to do; we were all the time aware that we could not abandon our country in such a moment of great needs.

We had long discussions with our children with whom we share the same Ideal, that of Universal Brotherhood. At last, we decided to go back home, convinced that our love for our compatriots was far more important than any financial and other benefits that the USA offered.

When we got there, our life changed completely. We understood that happiness does not depend on external factors (country, race, security, richness), but on the relationships that we managed to build with those nearest to us. Moreover, for us believers, even the relationship with God is important.

In our country we live side by side with Muslims, and our community, which promotes Fraternity, managed to establish good relationships with many of them. For example, once we had to travel to Syria for a meeting. As you may well know, Syria has been in conflict with Lebanon. The relationships between the two countries were still strained. Yet, according to what we profess, even the Syrians are our brother and sisters. Thus, while in Syria, we established excellent relationships with many Syrians; these contacts are still alive and mutually enriching.

During the last month of the war, we understood better our role as witnesses of fraternity between Christians and Muslims in our country. Together, we formed one big family based of love and fraternity.

We are certain that a practical fraternity could open up new possibilities for all: in our case, as Christians in the Middle East, it is not just a matter of simply ‘being there’, but also to be actively involved in politics and other civil institutions in order to proclaim that, even in Lebanon, things could change for the better”.

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